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panetta held what could be his final press conference as head of the pentagon. he announced the creation of a military award called the distinguished warfare metal. the secretary also talked about north korea's nuclear program. the troop drawdown in afghanistan and the series of automatic spending cuts called sequestration. secretary panetta will retire pending the confirmation of defense secretary nominee chuck hagel. [laughter] >> you are on your own, kid. >> good afternoon. as you know, this is i believe my final press conference here at the pentagon briefing room. there are moments when i thought i was part of the last act of an italian opera and i'm not sure exactly when it would end. i think that the congress will act, and that they will confirm chuck hagel this week. what i wanted to do was come down and use this opportunity to first of all thank you all, all of you that are part of the press corps here and the press in general. throughout my 50 years in public service, i have always believed, believed very deeply in the role of the press. because i believe deeply in the role of t
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